Lindt ChoViva chocolate bar

Source: Planet A Foods

A limited run of 1,000 bars will launch exclusively via Lindt’s DTC platform in Germany (€3.49/95g)

Lindt has partnered with cocoa-free chocolate brand ChoViva to launch a limited-edition vegan chocolate bar for Veganuary.

Called Soft & Creamy Hazelnut (€3.49/95g), the NPD will launch exclusively in Germany on 4 January under Lindt’s sub-brand Hello.

It comprises ChoViva’s cocoa-free “oat creme filling with hazelnut and oat cookie pieces”, enrobed in Lindt’s vegan chocolate.

A limited run of 1,000 handmade bars will be available to order DTC via Lindt’s webstore.

ChoViva is the brainchild of food tech startup Planet A Foods, which developed its cocoa-free chocolate by fermenting oats and sunflower seeds.

Planet A Foods claims ChoViva produces 90% less CO2 emissions per kilo manufactured than regular chocolate.

Its use in mainstream confectionery could help ease the strain on the supply chain and mitigate the “extremely high cocoa prices that are already becoming a problem due to climate change”, it said.

While the outer chocolate layer in the Soft & Creamy Hazelnut bar did contain cocoa, the partnership was still significant, said head of marketing Ute Schellenberg.

This was because any use of ChoViva’s cocoa-free chocolate would help relieve pressure on the supply chain, she said.

Planet A Foods CTO Sara Marquart said: “Lindt represents the highest chocolate craftsmanship and best taste, and it feels incredible to create such a great product with such a significant company.”

It comes after London-based food tech company WNWN unveiled cocoa-free lookalikes of Cadbury’s, Tony’s Chocolonely’s and Terry’s top-selling bars in October. 

At the time, WNWN CEO Ahrum Pak criticised the “unfair labour practices” and environmental impact of the originals they were inspired by.

However, in a letter to The Grocer, Planet A Foods CEO Maximilian Marquart criticised WNWN’s stance, stressing that “consumers love chocolate and respond poorly to their chocolate being scolded”.

“After all, chocolate is a beloved treat for many, and finger-pointing has never been an effective way to change behaviour,” he wrote.